Mariamma Varkey, founder of Dubai's first private school, passes away at 90

News Network
March 31, 2021

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Dubai, Mar 31: One of the pioneer private sector educators of the UAE, Mariamma Varkey, passed away at her son's Dubai residence on Wednesday morning. She was 90.

The matriarch of the Varkey family, along with her late husband KS Varkey, founded Dubai's first private school, Our Own English High School, in 1968.

She was bed-ridden for several years.

She is survived by her son Sunny Varkey, Chairman of the GEMS group — the world's largest school operator — and daughter Susan Mathews.

The Dubai Mar Thoma Parish has offered "heartfelt condolences" to the bereaved family members. Mariamma Varkey was one of "our senior most members", the parish said.

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News Network
April 12,2021

Bengaluru: Karnataka may see a peak in Covid-19 cases by May first week and slowdown by May-end, said Health and Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar after holding a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

He cautioned, “We must be vigilant till the end of May. If there is a surge in cases, our health infrastructure will be overburdened. TAC experts have suggested that we should be vigilant along borders and thoroughly test incoming travellers from high caseload states. TAC has been directed to come up with a report which will be submitted to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

Further measures will be taken after discussions with the Chief Minister.” He pointed out that suggestions that will impact economic activities will not be considered. “But experts suggested that we should curb large gatherings and crowds which lead to a spread in infections,”  he said. 

With the increase in cases, private hospitals have extended their support to the government, he said. “We were among the first in the country to start tele-ICU and private hospitals too used it. We need to further strengthen the system.”  The state has received 72 lakh doses of vaccine. Around 61 lakh doses have been administered, of which 53 per cent were to women beneficiaries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded Karnataka’s efforts in containing the second wave, he added.

“Prime Minister Modi spoke to CM Yediyurappa and lauded the state’s efforts. He suggested that we should focus on micro-containment zones. We will take measures accordingly. I will make surprise visits to hospitals and vaccination centres. Irregularities and improper facilities won’t be tolerated. If people are aware and cooperate, there is no need for a lockdown or measures to curb economic activities,” he added. 

Karnataka on Sunday logged a massive 10,250 Covid cases in a single day. Once again, Bengaluru Urban district saw the most positives at 7,584 cases. This spike has also pushed up the state’s single-day positivity rate to 7.72%. While 40 deaths were added to the toll, 2,638 patients recovered during the day.

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News Network
April 9,2021

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New Jersey, Apr 9: An Indian couple was found dead at their home in the US after neighbours saw their four-year-old daughter crying alone in the balcony of their house, family sources said on Friday.

Some US media outlets said the couple died of an apparent stabbing in their North Arlington apartment.

The husband apparently stabbed and sliced his wife in the abdomen as she unsuccessfully tried to fight him off in their living room, a US media report said.

The bodies of Balaji Bharat Rudrawar (32) and his wife Arati Balaji Rudrawar (30) were found at their 21 Garden Terrace apartment in the Riverview Gardens complex of North Arlington borough in New Jersey which has just over 15,000 residents.

"The bodies were found on Wednesday after neighbours saw my granddaughter crying in the balcony and informed the local police who then entered the house," Balaji's father Bharat Rudrawar told media.

Some local US newspapers quoted a press release from the county prosecutor's office which said officers forced their way inside the apartment and found the couple dead.

"Investigators were waiting for the medical examiner to determine the cause and circumstances of the death, but confirmed both victims had been stabbed," the report said.

"The local police there informed me of the tragedy on Thursday. There is no clarity yet on the cause of the death. The US police said they will share findings of the autopsy report," Rudrawar said.

"My daughter-in-law was seven months pregnant," he said. "We had been to their house and were planning another trip to the US to be with them again," he said.

"I am not aware of any possible motive. They were a happy family and had lovely neighbours," he said when asked if he suspected foul play.

"I was informed by the US authorities that it will take at least 8 to 10 days for the bodies to reach India after necessary formalities," he said.

"My granddaughter is now with a friend of my son. He had several friends in the local Indian community, which has a 60 per cent population in New Jersey," he said.

Balaji Rudrawar, an IT professional from Ambajogai in Maharashtra's Beed district had moved with his wife to the US in August 2015 after they got married in December 2014, said his father, a businessman from the temple town, around 500 km from Mumbai.

While Balaji was working there for a prominent Indian infotech company, his wife was a homemaker, Rudrawar said.

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News Network
April 4,2021

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Mangaluru, Apr 4: A “Muslim” man has been performing rituals and praying at a Koragajja temple he built beside his house at Kavatharu village near Mulki in the communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district for the last 19 years, spreading the message of harmony.

P Qasim, 65, a native of Chittalancheri in Palakkad district of Kerala, had migrated to Mulki three decades ago.

Qasim says he built the temple for Koragajja, the 'Daiva' or spirit-god worshipped in Tulunadu region, on the advice of a priest whom he approached when he faced a difficult phase in life.

The priest told him that the earlier inhabitants of his house used to worship Koragajja, the 'Daiva' believed to help people overcome obstacles and fulfill their desires.

He found the spot near his house and built a temple there.

Now, around 50 people in the village, belonging to different religions, come and pray there, he says.

Qasim performs daily rituals at the temple, special poojas on occasions and distributes sandal paste as 'prasadam' to the devotees.

The temple also conducts the 'Kolotsava' festival every two years like other Koragajja temples in the district.

Qasim says he turned vegetarian the day he started performing rituals at the temple.

Qasim also stopped going to the masjid as he had a 'darshan' of Koragajja, he said.

His children, however, go to the masjid, but also have strong faith in Koragajja, Qasim says.

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